New England Patriots sign Adrian Clayborn

New England Patriots, NFL Free Agency


The New England Patriots couldn’t get pressure on the passer last year, and they are trying to rectify that issue by signing Adrian Clayborn.

New England was able to reach the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season, but it was undone by a defense that couldn’t get a stop. Head coach Bill Belichick is apparently trying to reverse that problem, luring defensive end Adrian Clayborn away from the Atlanta Falcons.

After losing Nate Solder, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and Malcolm Butler in free agency, things were trending the wrong way for New England, but the Patriots stemmed the tide by signing  Clayborn. Expecting the 29-year-old to come in and dominate would be aggressive, but Clayborn can help push the pocket alongside second-year man Derek Rivers and youngster Trey Flowers.

Clayborn notched 9.5 sacks last season, with six coming in one game against the Dallas Cowboys when Tyron Smith was out injured.

Contract details

We don’t know the length, dollars or structure yet, but an educated guess would have this contract around two years (likely three years in total but the third being a dummy) with approximately $7-8 million per year.

National reaction

Grade

The Patriots had to find a way to get more pressure on the quarterback, and this is a step in th right direction. Nobody thinks Clayborn is a star and for good reason, but he’s a nice addition to a front that has little pass-rushing juice to speak of. Although we don’t yet know the contract figures, this is a quality signing by a team that typically knows how to find a bargain.

Grade: A-





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